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writer; and though his productions were neither many nor voluminous, they obtained for him a reputation which not only extended over Germany, but reached to England, France, and Holland.
It was whilst on a visit to Berlin, that Lavater met with Mendelsohn. He greatly honoured and esteemed him as a sincere and rational advocate and disciple of truth, and it became the darling wish of this enthusiastic philanthropist to win over the elevated and noble soul of this Hebrew sage to the Christian faith, and thus, by the conversion of the Choregus of a scattered but numerous people of a man recognized by Jew and Christian as an acute and philosophical reasoner,—to render, as he thought, an incalculable service to the cause of Christianity. The queries proposed by Lavater to Mendelsohn, or rather, should we say, the inquisitorial demands made by him, were indeed well intentioned, but they were characterized by all the rashness of an inconsiderate enthusiasm. Mendelsohn's conduct upon this occasion exhibited him no less as a clear-sighted man, conversant with the world and human nature, than as a philosopher. Mendelsohn took an early opportunity of giving to the public, in his work, “ Jerusalem, true representation of those religious notions which had been greatly misunderstood and distorted from their real signification, because they directly attacked forms which centuries had consecrated.
The first hours of the morning were employed by Mendelsohn in delivering lectures to his eldest son and some other promising youths of his own nation. He explained to them the leading principles of philosophy, and more especially instructed them in the knowledge of God and in those important truths based upon this doctrine, and the notions we form of him and of his attributes. He published the results of these studies in a work, called by him, in allusion to the circumstances from which it originated, “Morning-hours."*
Another unjustifiable attack was now made upon Mendelsohn, similar ini ts character to that of Lavater, but it affected his feelings far more deeply, since it had relation not so much to his own religious opinions, as to those of his revered and now departed friend, Lessing. Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi published a work, which he addressed to Mendelsohn. The subject was the doctrines of Spinoza, and its object was to exhibit Lessing as a disciple of that philosopher. Mendelsohn's affectionate and grateful friendship for the man to whom
* “ Morgenstunden; oder Vorlesungen über das Daseyn Gottes."
he owed so much in the cultivation of his own mind, forbad him to witness in silence this wanton desecration of the ashes of his friend. Neither his own much impaired health, nor his natural and often avowed repugnance to enter the lists of religious controversy, could now restrain him. He roused all his powers and concentrated all his energies, determined, if possible, to annihilate with one stroke the erroneous impression which Jacobi's accusation of Atheism might have produced. A powerful work, entitled “ Moses Mendelsohn to the friends of Lessing," was his last literary effort: to it he consecrated his remaining strength, at the sacrifice of his life; “ but he raised an imperishable monument to his departed friend.” The agitation and excitement had a most injurious effect on his shattered frame, and it needed only the most trifling untoward accident to extinguish the flickering spark. A cold caught by him on going out in reference to the publication of his work, proved fatal: he died on the 4th of January 1786, in his fifty-seventh year.
Mendelsohn was in figure short, slender, and deformed; his complexion was dark, and sickly; his hair black, and curly. His nose was aquiline; a gentle smile continually played around his mouth, of which the lips were slightly parted. His eye was brilliant and his look penetrating. His lofty forehead, and the entire cast of his features, bespoke a sound understanding and a noble heart; and in his countenance there beamed so bright an expression of goodness, modesty,and benevolence, that to see him was to love him. During his lifetime he resisted every kind of selfindulgence. It was almost difficult to believe that the small quantity of nourishment to which he restricted himself could suffice to sustain life. He was fond of society, and it was affecting to witness his cheerful and pressing solicitations to his friends to partake of refreshments which he dared not himself venture to taste. His mind was too active for his delicate frame, and he continually overtaxed his bodily powers; for it was impossible for one so intellectual to debar himself from thinking, from the mental enjoyment of reading, or from the still more attractive but exciting occupation of composition. He rose habitually between four and five, devoting the first hours of the morning to study. At eight or nine he repaired to the countinghouse and spent the day in attending to the concerns of the business, emersed in occupations of a very different character from those which engaged his early hours; but he well understood how to reap advantage from this apparently unpleasant diversion from his more elevated and favourite employments: his reasoning powers had a season of comparative rest, and he returned refreshed and invigorated to his mental labours.
About four o'clock in the afternoon friends, pupils, acquaintances and strangers were accustomed to assemble at his house, and he was welcomed on returning home by a numerous company who had met to enjoy his rare powers of conversation. He possessed, in a very uncommon degree, the art of adapting his subject to each individual, and whether he were theologian, man of letters, philosopher, statesman, or tradesman, he would converse with him respecting his particular profession, with an ease and familiarity of knowledge, seldom possessed by any but those following the same vocation. He never suffered himself to speak dogmatically. “I believe," “may we not say,” “ if one might be allowed so to speak," &c., generally prefaced the expression of his own opinions. His great master Socrates might always be discerned in his discourses. He had a natural talent for satire, which approached very nearly to the irony of the Grecian sage; and with which he had the power to sting deeply; but it was exercised rarely, and only on fitting occasions: he was ever upon his guard, and often repressed a witty thought from a fear that it might wound or prove offensive. It was a rule with him, before entering upon an argument, to ascertain that he and his opponent were agreed as to first principles. In 1762, Mendelsohn had married the daughter of Abraham Eugenheim of Hamburg. This marriage proved a particularly happy one. Mendelsohn was successful in business, and had attained to a degree of affluence, which not only permitted him to live in genteel domestic comfort, and to entertain at his table the guests whose society he valued, but which also enabled him to supportwhich he did with the utmost liberality—his own and his wife's poorer relatives. He delighted in acts of beneficence. Had some opportunity occurred of aiding a fellow-creature, and had his exertions proved successful, his whole countenance brightened and reflected the joyousness and benevolence of his inward feelings.
Integrity, magnanimity, modesty, ingenuousness, kindliness, and every social virtue, were the distinguishing traits of this great man; his exalted character became, after his death, the frequent subject of discourse and admiration among his friends : a theme on which they fondly dwelt long after he had been withdrawn from their circles. The learned in Berlin, by whom he was highly esteemed, took many and various occasions of testifying their regard : professor Engel in particular. On the day the remains were interred every Jewish shop in Berlin was closed,-a mark of respect customary only at the burial of a chief Rabbin. A sure indication of the love and veneration of his countrymen, who knew no means of giving a more convincing demonstration of their just and grateful appreciation of the merits of their distinguished teacher.
To this Socrates of her native land, to this independent thinker, acute reasoner, and elegant writer, Germany has adjudged a place in the temple of fame, and of worth: the more willingly and unhesitatingly in proportion as the access was difficult, and the pathway obstructed and encumbered by adverse circumstances and external hindrances,
VOL. IV. No. 15.-New Series.
ART. VIII.-NOTICES OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
I. Services at the Presbyterian Chapel, Stand; on occasion of the Ordination of the Rev. P. P. Carpenter, B.A. By the Revds. J. G. Robberds, c. Wellbeloved, and J. J. Tayler. London: J. Green.
WE rejoice to see these Services resumed in the Unitarian Churches; and that these, the first published Services, for many years, are of a beauty and felicity that cannot fail to recommend and justify the practice. We know no social occasion more worthy of a religious celebration, than the first connection of a young Minister with his Congregation. It is one of solemn interest to him ; and he ought not to be left alone at such a time, unassured whether there is the least synıpathy with his position or his feelings in other breasts. Nothing can be more cold, hare, and heartless, than the common usage of our Churches in this respect. The young Minister, timid, trembling, awed, is left to introduce himself, to speak of his own emotions, to anatomize his own confused sensibilities,-to preach on Duties and Relations of which he knows nothing by experience,—and is then suffered to retire, doubting whether an occasion so great to him, has any interest for others,-and whether by taking for granted earnest solicitude on the part of his Congregation, the solemn Charge just committed to him, he has not been guilty of painful exaggeration and extravagance. These inaugural days are cold promises of future zeal and cooperation; and we speak from experience when we say, that they are enough to kill at once the romance and enthusiasm of the profession. Without excessive indifference on the part of Congregations, and a very low appreciation of Pulpit and Pastoral Usefulness, the present state of things could never have existed; and we hail the renewed practice of introducing a young Minister to his Charge with some solemnity, as a sign that there is increased earnestness in the Ministry itself, and increasing vitality in the pastoral connection. It is by no means adviseable that where two Parties enter into mutual Re. lations, one of the Parties should lay down for both the Duties and Obligations of the connection: and for the sake of impression, of delicacy, of the first freshness of sentiment, it is proper